Clubs gear up for champions league draw | sports | Hindustan Times
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Clubs gear up for champions league draw

sports Updated: Dec 20, 2012 00:14 IST
AFP
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A glamour ceremony to be held in Nyon, Switzerland on Thursday will unveil the much anticipated pairings for the knockout phase of the Champions League, as the 16 remaining teams continue their quest to reach the May 25 final at Wembley.

A fresh champion will lift one of the most recognisable trophies in the game after holders Chelsea suffered the humiliation of becoming the first defending champions to exit following the group phase.

Perennial favourites Barcelona go into the hat for next February's matches, as the team everyone wants to avoid, although fellow pool winners Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Malaga, Juventus, Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich are all guaranteed to avoid the four-time champions as seeded teams. Real Madrid who won the last of their nine European Cups in 2002, are the pick of the second-placed group teams although along with Valencia, they cannot face their Catalan arch-rivals as teams from the same country cannot face each other until the quarter-finals.

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